The living room floor is lava.
You must go couch to ottoman to chair or forever be disintegrated by its raging heat. Your sibling takes your most prized possession and sets it in the lava just outside your reach from the couch. What are you going to do? Are you going to save your brand new Oakley sunglasses or are you going to let him break your game and admit the floor is actually not lava? You’re left with a decision no 12-year-old is equipped to handle.
20 years later…
Those people aren’t like you. They think differently and they do things you find strange. You build your day around trying to figure out how to avoid interaction with them. One day your barrier protection system is compromised and unexpectedly you’re face to face with one of the “different” people. Do you have what it takes to start a conversation you set up your whole routine to avoid?
Is it possible they might be more similar than you thought? It might mean you actually have to admit it’s ok to talk to them. Uh oh.
Connecting to people who don’t share your outlook on life requires courage. It’s not safe to reach out past your self-imposed barriers. It requires vulnerability and accepting the risks of the unknown.
We can spend our whole lives avoiding lava or we can build bridges over it to connect to other people and create a network of resources that will change our community.
If you have trouble building bridges, at least jump to the ottoman. It’s one move closer to your Oakleys.